Colin replied to the topic 'Does Any of This Work At All' in the forum. 2 months ago

Hi,

Thanks for the suggestions. I suspect you may have worked out some of the things I didn't do properly. I was hoping to get started using the simulators so that I had some idea of what to do before I started blundering around in the dark. Of course we have had a couple of weeks of cloud. I did suspect, and I think you have confirmed, that one of the difficulties will be trying to do polar alignment with the simulated devices won't work too well as the simulated mount will already be aligned. I did wonder at first why the correction lines were so small when they are much bigger on Youtube videos. I guess they are using a real telescope which is several degrees out of alignment when they start.

Anyway, progress is being made and thanks for info.

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Colin replied to the topic 'Does Any of This Work At All' in the forum. 2 months ago

Hi, Thanks for the info. Yes, I thought it should be possible to solve near Polaris. I have an iOptron iPolar system which does plate solving near Polaris and that works really well. Of course I suspected that part of the problem is that the simulated mount is already pretty close to perfect alignment and, I think, Andrew in the next post has confirmed that.

Anyway, thanks for the info.

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Colin replied to the topic 'Does Any of This Work At All' in the forum. 2 months ago

Hi Astronerd,

Thanks for the info. I'll give it a go.

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Colin replied to the topic 'Does Any of This Work At All' in the forum. 2 months ago

Hi Again,

Thanks for all your help with this. Setting the gain to 90 has made it work. Would I be right in thinking that simulated mount is already pointing at true north? I wondered about this as when I do a polar align the green/yellow/purple triangle is tiny and the alt az error is 10 or 20 arc seconds which is why the triangle is tiny I suppose. Anyway, thanks for all your help with this and for getting it working.
 

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Colin replied to the topic 'Does Any of This Work At All' in the forum. 2 months ago

Hi,

Thanks for the reply. I had another go. Starting with a formatted SD card and reinstalling everything all over again including all the index files. It finished at around 5AM this morning. Having sat through the entire night mainly watching it downloading index files you can imagine just how pleased I was when it didn't work again. It completely fails to solve and it cannot do polar alignment using the simulated devices. it makes little or no difference what focal length I use and it makes even less difference what exposure settings I use.

Note this is a straight install from the recommended download site (astroberry). I get the same results whether I use the astroberryos or a vanilla Raspbian with the ekos stuff added. It just can't solve any image no matter where I point the camera/telescope. In the attached screenshot I have copied the settings as far as possible from the image you attached and the result is the same: "Solver failed" as you can see in the attached screenshot.

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Colin replied to the topic 'Does Any of This Work At All' in the forum. 2 months ago

Hi Jasem,

Thanks for the suggestion. 400 still didn't work but I made it 100 and that worked in that it took three images and plate solved each of them. However, it never produced the RA and DEC vectors which I have seen on Youtube videos and in the documentation. Well I say that it worked but it is hard to be sure since the image on the screen is so small. Even full screen and with maximum zooming it still only occupies a square about 5cm by 5cm in the middle of the much larger screen. Why it will not zoom out further than that will remain a mystery to me.

I have given up now. The only reason I was interested was because it was stated by several people that it supported the camera I have but as I can't get it to work with the simulated camera I suspect I am not going to get it to work with my old Nikon.

Thanks for the suggestion anyway.

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Colin replied to the topic 'Does Any of This Work At All' in the forum. 2 months ago

Hi Alacant,

Thanks for the reply. I hadn't thought of that. The button on the logging page opens a directory in a completely different location but when I think about it, the logs for this are coming from an external program so perhaps that button is unrelated. Sadly however, despite ticking verbose and file there are no useful or relevant files in /tmp. The 2 that come closest are one called internalSextractorSolver_4.cancel which contains the word "cancel" and nothing else. The other one is called indififoa34d22f6 and is completely empty. There is also a directory called kstars but that is empty.

Something else I just noticed: With a camera gain of 0.0 it claims to find 4 stars even though I can see more than that in the image. Setting the gain to 10.0 and it then claims that it cannot find any stars.

I'll maybe give it another go by building from sources on a Linux distribution of my choice rather than using Raspbian stuff that I don't like but then again I am not sure it is worth the effort.

Thanks again anyway.

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Colin replied to the topic 'Does Any of This Work At All' in the forum. 2 months ago

Hi Astronerd,

Thanks for the reply. I did install all the index files I could get. Its odd because there are quite a few videos on Youtube demonstrating plate solving and polar alignment using ekos/kstars using the simulated devices and they work perfectly. I expected the simulated devices to be, in effect, perfect. I didn't explain properly but I gave up pointing the simulated telescope at any particular location. Irrespective of where it is pointing it takes an image with the simulated ccd and I can see lots of stars in the image but the solver says there are not enough stars. It also says that the image is 320 pixels in each direction which I suspect is the issue but I can't find any setting for that.

Oh well, it just goes to show: Don't believe Youtube videos.

Thanks again anyway.
 

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Colin created a new topic ' Does Any of This Work At All' in the forum. 2 months ago

I have spent all day and all night on this and as far as I can tell this stuff just doesn't work. I don't think I am trying to do anything complex. I haven't attached any equipment. Instead I have started with the simulated devices and nothing works. I wish I hadn't wasted money on the RPi4 I bought for this but at least it wasn't that expensive and I can use it for something else.

I have installed this stuff twice now just in case I was doing something wrong. I have not changed any of the default settings. Surely it is not too much to expect that the default settings in the simulated devices actually work? All I am trying to do is a simple plate solve using "Capture & Solve" in the polar alignment module. I have never got it to work. All I get is "PSS: Stopping, Solver failed too many times" and "Please check you have sufficient stars in the image". That is a joke. The simulated camera looking through the simulated telescope at a simulated sky can't see enough stars even though I can see dozens on the screen. Even with an exposure of 30 seconds, the simulated camera can't see enough stars. It just goes into a loop solving the first image until it gives up.

I currently use an ioptron iPolar to do polar alignment and when I compare that to this it is a joke. iPolar just works straight out of the box with a real sky and a lot of light polution. This doesn't even work with the simulated environment. I was hoping to use this for other plate solving but I have no confidence that works either.

If anyone can tell me how this stuff can be made to work I will be very grateful otherwise I'll just reformat the SD card and give up on this. I can't attach a log file because that doesn't work either; at least not that I can find. The errors say "Enable alignment logging in Setup Tab -> Logs" which I have done but after doing that and trying the plate solve again the "Open Logs Directory" button says "/home/astroberry/.local/share/kstars/logs: No such file or directory". 
 

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I can't get the polar alignment to work with simulated devices with all the default settings. It is a fresh install on a brand new RPi4. It claims... Show more